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The Top Five Videogames to Play with a Hangover

I have spent a great deal of my lifetime in a hungover state. In my ongoing quest to not just survive, but somehow enjoy, my mornings of headaches, swirling rooms and immense apathy I have tried to play some videogames. Here are the ones I've managed to not hate.

Forza Motorsport 5

The cars and tracks really are prettiful

The cars and tracks really are prettiful

I don't know much about cars. I know how to drive, I can tell you what cars I like the look of and which ones turn into the best robots, but I'm far from a petrolhead. So maybe I'm playing this game wrong; maybe I'm supposed to switch up to a higher difficulty, tinker with my cars, take my game online, all that. I'm not going to do that.

When I turned on this game and started playing, I was playing a gorgeous looking, quick racing game wherein the acceleration and braking was essentially done for me. All I had to do was hold down the right trigger, maybe easing off it now and then, and steer. And I'll be damned if that isn't absolutely perfect for hungover Luke Summerhayes, the morning after the night before.

Animal Crossing

Oh, Kid Cat, never ever leave me

Oh, Kid Cat, never ever leave me

An absolutely stress-free existence in a colourful cartoon village full of friendly animals, sedate fishing, peaceful gardening and charming music. This is a game you can play without incident even if you have to put it down and close your eyes without any notice. Even if I drop my 3DS and run to the toilet to chunder, there's no danger of me getting shot or eaten or crashing into a wall.

Alas, this option is no longer available to me. Like most players of Animal Crossing, I slowly lost touch with my village and now I'm terrified that if I ever return to the game, my favourite villagers will all have left.

Metal Gear Solid

(Or a beloved old game that you could complete in your sleep)

Solid Snake, looking a little less prettiful

Solid Snake, looking a little less prettiful

Like the next entry, Metal Gear Solid itself is just a cipher for a general archetype of game. In this case, a classic singleplayer adventure that you already know and love. More recently, MGS has taken this role for me but in the past it might have been the original NES Super Mario Bros. Or Pokemon Red on my Game Boy.

The point is to find a game which can keep you somewhat engaged and give you feelings of satisfaction but which isn't going to surprise you or ask you to do anything you don't already know you can do. Like watching Dirty Dancing for the thousandth time and eating a tub of ice cream after a heartbreak, sink into a sofa with a blanket on and a big pot of sweet black coffee and spent a day on Shadow Moses Island.

Titanfall

(Or an online multiplayer game you're pretty good at but don't care about)

This is a game about crouching just outside the cockpits of mechs

This is a game about crouching just outside the cockpits of mechs

In a similar vain to the previous entry, Titanfall might not do the trick for you personally but I'm sure you can think of something similar that would suit you.

The point is, I'm pretty good at Titanfall. I'm never going to be the world champ, but I can have an enjoyable time shooting lads and driving robots with minimal effort and still be one of the best players on my team. I don't care about unlocking anything, or climbing the ranks, or anything in the game really, but I can switch it on and play for ten minutes or ten hours quite comfortably. And somewhere out there is a game that can give you that as well.

Dynasty Warriors

Chinese general Lu Bu. I have no reason to doubt that this is what he looked like.

Chinese general Lu Bu. I have no reason to doubt that this is what he looked like.

In all my adventures, I've yet to find a hangover game that can match Dynasty Warriors' perfection. Despite its initial baffling weirdness – this is a videogame adaptation of a 1,500-year old novel about 2,000-year-old Chinese history that reinterprets real warriors as the X-Men, after all – once you get the hang of playing the Warriors games they require the exact correct ammount of concentration for a hungover gamer.

The story, being a retelling of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, is always the same. The details of hand-to-hand combat are, besides an occasional need to break a commander's defence, are simplistic button-bashing. All it really requires is an awareness and understanding of the map and the flow of the battle which is essentially instinctive and subconscious. Switch of your front brain and let your inner warrior fight through the fog of your alcoholic stupor.

 

So there you go. Sit back, switch on one of these games, chow down on a fry up and think: this will all be gone tomorrow and you can do it all again next week.